Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

North Suncoast: Sunday morning quarterback

North Suncoast Super 7

1. Sunlake (2-0): The Seahawks still haven't allowed an offensive touchdown this season after shutting out River Ridge 25-0. Nathan Johnson could be Pasco County's breakout back.

2. Pasco (1-1): Any questions about the Pirates' potential after they dismantled Fivay 50-7?

Zephyrhills (2-0): Goodness, the Bulldogs can strike quickly. Jordan Roberts and Jaylen Pickett both returned kickoffs for TDs in a 51-20 win over Gulf.

4. Springstead (1-1): QB Tyler Mahla's two TDs helped his rookie coach, Mike Garofano, get the first win of his career, 14-0 over Weeki Wachee.

5. Hernando (0-1): The Leopards have played one game and had two rained out: a preseason game against River Ridge and Friday against Jacksonville Bishop Kenny. Mother Nature is undefeated.

6. Nature Coast (0-1): The Sharks were off in Week 2, giving them more time to prepare for a showdown against Springstead.

7. Land O'Lakes (2-0): Class 6A, District 6 remains unpredictable, but James Pensyl and the Gators look as if they'll be playoff contenders.

In the conversation: Mitchell (2-0), Wiregrass Ranch (2-0)

Getting defensive

Rainy weather and slippery fields helped pile up turnovers Friday, and defenses capitalized with several touchdowns.

Land O'Lakes: Senior LB/DE Darius Wells pounced on a fumble in the end zone to score his second TD in the past three games.

Pasco: Junior LB Bowman Archibald returned an interception 7 yards for the first TD of his varsity career. He added 1 1/2 sacks.

Wesley Chapel: Senior DE Eric Bennett recorded an interception return for a score in a 10-6 loss at Lecanto.

Wiregrass Ranch: Junior LB/DB Jaye Miner returned a fumble 3 yards as part of his 17-tackle, 1½-sack night in a 25-7 win over Hudson.

Audibles

"We felt like we let the coaches down, let the community down. We took that anger we had into practice." — Pasco ATH Malik Johns, on responding to a Week 1 loss to Sunlake with a rout of Fivay

Overlooked

Five players whose performances deserve another mention:

Nate Boler, RB, Mitchell: The senior showed that Christian Trinidad isn't the only horse in the Mustangs' stable. He rushed for almost 100 yards and scored a TD against Ridgewood.

Trent Crawford, RB, Anclote: He rushed for 105 yards and the Sharks' only score while adding two excellent kickoff returns in a loss to Land O'Lakes.

Malik Johns, ATH, Pasco: He helped his Pirates rebound from a loss to Sunlake with one TD catch, one TD rush, a pair of two-point conversion runs and a two-point conversion pass.

Nathan Johnson, RB, Sunlake: The Division I prospect followed a strong showing against Pasco with 137 yards and a TD against River Ridge.

Glass Wilson, RB, Ridgewood: His 100-yard night included three touchdown runs in a 41-30 loss to Mitchell.

Looking ahead to Week 3

Springstead at Nature Coast: Even without DE Rohan Blackwood, the Sharks defense will be a tough test for Tyler Mahla and the Eagles. Nature Coast gave Springstead fits last season in beating the Eagles 14-7. Springstead's offensive attack will have to improve after scoring only 28 points in two games.

Mitchell at Zephyrhills: Expect lots of rushes and lots of points. Mitchell has been impressive but hasn't faced a team as athletic and fast as Zephyrhills. Can the Mustangs slow Jordan Roberts, Jaylen Pickett and Devin Brockington?

River Ridge at Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls still feel as if they have more to prove. A win over a struggling Royal Knights team would move Wiregrass to 3-0, its best start in program history.

Injury update

Anclote ATH Shy Carter separated his shoulder during the first drive against Land O'Lakes. Sharks coach Matt Wicks said his two-way standout and Division-I prospect is expected to be fine but will probably miss Friday's game against Sunlake.

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